Volunteers of America-Greater New York Receives $125K Grant from SAMHSA to Further Mental Health Training

With this funding, VOA-GNY aims to increase accessibility to mental health services for both clients and staff.

NEW YORK — Volunteers of America-Greater New York (VOA-GNY), an anti-poverty organization with a rich 125-year history of serving New Yorkers in need, today announced that it has received a $125,000 grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to develop comprehensive mental health training programs for employees. The grant will be dispersed over the next four years, contributing to a series of staff training and education efforts.

With this grant, VOA-GNY will develop a mental health awareness training program called Mental Health Training 101: Change Your Perception & Practice, designed especially for VOA-GNY entry-level and front desk staff. This group includes operations, direct care, recreation and childcare staff, security personnel, and case managers with limited to no social service field experience.

“VOA-GNY’s greatest resource is our employees, and we remain committed to providing quality training and education that will help them best serve our clients. Enhancing and developing the skills of our internal team, who work with a variety of unique populations, is vital to providing a continuum of care to New Yorkers in need and addressing the distinct circumstances that our clients face.” – Dan Lombardo, Interim President and CEO of VOA-GNY.

Over the next four years, the Mental Health Training 101: Change Your Perception & Practice program will help expand service capacity among staff in entry-level positions—a group that is not always afforded an opportunity for such training due to funding limitations and availability/accessibility of staff trainers. Through this holistic approach, VOA-GNY is ensuring that all clients within its programs receive enhanced, evidence-based care and have a positive experience in our service network.

The overall goal of the program is ensuring front line staff and personnel new to the human services field are equipped with the resources and tools necessary to support VOA-GNY’s clients. The organization will be offering this service at their executive office in Midtown, the Learning Institute in Washington Heights, as well as at the specified program locations.